Russia's Evraz to idle U.S. steel mill

MOSCOW Mon Oct 14, 2013 12:17pm EDT

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's largest steelmaker Evraz (EVRE.L) will idle its 500,000 tonne-capacity steel mill in the U.S. state of Delaware due to weak demand and oversupply, the firm said in a statement on Monday.

An inflow of steel products from Europe due to rising global oversupply has put pressure on U.S. steel producers.

"Unfortunately, market conditions continue to be challenging and low market visibility makes it difficult to foresee when positive changes will occur," John Zanieski, Evraz's Executive Vice President of Flat Products and Recycling said in the statement.

Like steel firms around the world, Evraz has been downsizing since signs of a growth slowdown in China and stagnation in crisis-hit Europe sent steel prices tumbling from all-time highs in 2011.

Evraz's suspension of work at the U.S. mill, which worked at around 70 percent capacity in 2012, follows its decisions to idle its Italian plate mill and to sell its South African Highveld mill and its Czech Vitkovice steel plant.

The financial results of the firm's U.S. division will not be affected by the idling of the Delaware plant, Evraz said.

Evraz's London-listed shares, which are trading around 70 percent below their all-time peak hit in early 2012, closed up 0.6 percent.

(Reporting by Alessandra Prentice; editing by James Jukwey)